Meg Crosby '16


Your Name: Meg Crosby 

Graduation Year: 2016

Major: Biology, Minor: Art

Your Story: I started college with the goal to become a French/Art History major, but my love of science pushed me toward a major in biology. I became very involved at Gustavus and enjoyed singing in the choir, co-coordinating Gustie Buddies, and being a Gustie Greeter. As someone with congenital heart disease, my exposure to medicine from a young age is what first introduced me to the idea of becoming a doctor. I knew I wanted to work in a setting that would allow me to make a difference for people’s health. 

After enjoying the research project portion of Comparative Physiology and performing independent research guided by Dr. Colleen Jacks, I began to wonder about graduate school as a new way to make a difference in healthcare. This interest lead to a 2-year position as a lab technician at the University of Minnesota developing novel therapies for cancer treatment. Working at the UMN gave me the opportunity to take additional courses in areas of interest such as human anatomy and cancer biology. While this experience allowed me to expand my research skills, I found myself missing a more direct interaction with the people I wanted to impact. 

Seeking more clinical experience, I took a job as a scribe working initially in an emergency department then later in an oncology clinic. This allowed me to compare and contrast the hospital and clinic settings, particularly the shift in the provider-patient relationship that results from recurrent visits. I was impressed by the oncologists’ compassionate ability to provide sensitive, realistic counsel to both patients with curable disease and those receiving palliative care. Seeing these physicians empower their patients when making choices about their healthcare is what ultimately confirmed my interest in becoming a doctor.

Top Five Activities/Experiences: (in no particular order)

1. Oncology scribe

2. Volunteer at Camp Odayin: Camp for children with heart disease

3. Cancer research at the University of MN

4. Gustie Buddies co-coordinator

5. Gustavus Choir Great Britain/France Tour


1. Take time to figure out what you are passionate about. I’ve always been someone with many interests and honestly rather indecisive about my future plans. When I felt myself drawn to research, I am grateful I allowed myself to pursue this interest rather than leave an option unexplored. Not only did research offer exposure to a collaborative scientific community, improve my bench skills, and solidify the importance of patient interaction to me in a future career, I feel post-Gustavus experiences made me a stronger, more mature applicant. 

2. Don’t let the MCAT determine your future. The first time I took the MCAT my senior year of college, I did not allow myself enough time to study. Rather than reschedule my exam, I took the test unprepared and unsurprisingly I was not happy with my score. This of course was very discouraging and shook my confidence in medical school as an option for myself. It took me a few years being out of school to decide that this exam was not going to be the end of my med school journey. So, I dedicated more time to studying, took 6 practice tests, and improved my score by 16 points. I truly believe anyone can do well on this test if they put in the effort to preparing.

3. Ask for help and support your fellow pre-meds. While the medical school application process is extremely competitive, the best thing you can do is to work together with your peers who have the same goal as you. Reach out to current medical students and about their experiences. Exchange personal statements with friends for proofreading. Explore a new volunteer opportunity with a friend. I am so grateful for the advice and support I received on my path to medical school and I attribute much of my success to it. 

Future Plans: Fall of 2020 I plan to start medical school at the University of Minnesota. While I still look forward to the ability to explore more specialties, I hope to pursue oncology or palliative medicine. 

Updated 3/31/2020 HB